Transocean Offshore Inc.'s drillship Discoverer Enterprise has been accepted by BP Amoco and has begun work under a five-year contract with BP Amoco valued
at more than $360 million.
Dynamically positioned Discoverer Enterprise is the first of a new class of advanced, ultra-deepwater drillships employing the company's proprietary dual-activity drilling system. The vessel has completed equipment appraisal and testing in more than 6,100 ft. of water at BP Amoco's Neptune location in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. It is currently completing plug-and-abandonment work, and after that, it is expected to begin drilling an appraisal well in the Crazy Horse field.
With its dual-activity drilling capability, Discoverer Enterprise conducts drilling steps simultaneously, rather than in the sequential steps taken by conventional rigs. The vessel, which has two drilling stations housed in a single derrick, is designed to reduce the cost of a typical deepwater well by up to 40 percent. It has the capability to work in water depths of up to 10,000 ft.
Two ultra-deepwater drillships identical to Discoverer Enterprise - now in various stages of completion - are being constructed for Transocean Offshore for expected delivery in 2000. The vessels, Discoverer Spirit and Discoverer Deep Seas, are contracted for under five-year agreements with Unocal's Spirit 76 unit and Chevron (CVX)